What is the role of C acnes in the pathophysiology of acne vulgaris?

Updated: Apr 17, 2020
  • Author: Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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C acnes (formerly P acnes) is an anaerobic organism present in acne lesions. The presence of C acnes (formerly P acnes) promotes inflammation through a variety of mechanisms. C acnes (formerly P acnes) stimulates inflammation by producing proinflammatory mediators that diffuse through the follicle wall. Studies have shown that C acnes (formerly P acnes) activates the toll-like receptor 2 on monocytes and neutrophils. [10] Activation of the toll-like receptor 2 then leads to the production of multiple proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukins 12 and 8 and tumor necrosis factor. Hypersensitivity to C acnes (formerly P acnes) may also explain why some individuals develop inflammatory acne vulgaris while others do not. [11]

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